Carpet Wrinkles – Moisture Problems for New Homeowner

Q. Carpet Wrinkles and Moisture Problems?

I just found your Carpet Professor website and have a carpet question for you which you may or may not be able to answer.

Carpet WrinkleWe had our home built two years ago and we selected Shaw’s “Simple Touch” carpet along with an upgraded padding (listed as 8-lb Envirostep).

Since then, we have had several issues with carpet wrinkles where it is bunching up badly in every room and down the hallway. This is not just a small wrinkle we are talking about, this is 1” and 2” inch folds in the carpet.

The builder sent the carpet installers back and they re-stretched the carpets twice within the first year, but they did so without moving out the furniture.

Now that the one-year installation warranty has expired, the carpets are once again badly bunching up in the exact same spots as before! The builder now says it needs to be re-stretched again because “The carpet was installed when it was cold”… but now I am thinking this has to be something more than just a problem with the carpet or pad.

Is it possible there might be a problem with the padding and carpet compatibility? Any thoughts or suggestions?

Alan’s Reply:

I wish I had good news for you. You have a selected a low-quality P.E.T. Polyester builder-grade carpet designed for use in low foot-traffic applications. If you have medium to heavy foot traffic, this could cause your carpet to lose its stretch and develop wrinkles in a hurry.

It’s also possible that the padding height, if over 7/16” may have contributed to the wrinkles, but I suspect that high humidity, a moisture problem or excessive wetness from a poor quality carpet cleaning may have contributed to the problem.

You have little recourse unless you can convince the builder to re-stretch it again at no charge to you. You should also make arrangements to move out all the furniture yourself if they won’t do it as it will help them re-stretch the carpet more effectively.

Meanwhile, save your money and put in a better grade of carpet when you can. I always recommend buying a Nylon Carpet if you want a long-lasting more durable carpet. In the meantime, make sure you don’t have an unchecked moisture problem.

Carpet Wrinkles and Moisture Problems

Check to make sure your gutters and downspouts are deflecting rain water away from your home properly. This is a very common source of moisture problems for homeowners.

If you have a basement or your home is built on a slab, it would be smart to do a moisture test to make sure the concrete is not a source of moisture.

Have the concrete sealed if there is a problem. It’s not too costly to have the concrete professionally sealed. You can even do it yourself for less using Thompson’s Water Seal available at your local hardware store.

Alan aka The Carpet Professor

Follow up:

Thanks so much for the response Alan,

Ironically we had a major moisture problem in the crawl space under the house the first year. (Standing water) and the house was covered with mold.

They removed the mold and sealed the crawl space and now it’s all climate-controlled. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what caused the carpet problems.

The good news is the builder will be coming out to re-stretch the carpet again despite it being 2.5 yrs after build, the bad news is we have to live with a low quality carpet (which I already figured…even with no bunching.

I hate how the pile mats down with the first foot print) so I guess we will suck it up until we have enough money to get all new carpeting in a couple years…. Thanks again!

AbcCarpetPro.com Carpet Professor

Is Berber a Good Choice for Children and Pets?

Learn the good and the bad about Berber Carpet styles.

Is a Looped Berber a good choice for children and Pets?

How to select the right carpet style and grade for your home and avoid common consumer carpet buying mistakes.

Berber Carpet

Q. How well does Berber withstand high traffic areas? Is it easy to keep clean and what kind of padding is best? I am going crazy trying to decide if I want a plush or Berber. I have a newborn and know I will soon have lots of messes to clean up!

 

Alan’s Response:

Don’t spend a lot on new carpet if you have small children! Children are very hard on carpets, they spill everything imaginable and parents are often too busy or too tired to clean up messes quickly enough to keep up with the demand.

Looped Berbers made from the Olefin Fiber are hard to keep clean, they snag easily and are not recommended for folks with active children or pets. 

Berber snag

For folks without active children or pets: Berber may be a good choice.   Fact: Inexpensive looped Berber carpets made with Olefin tend to snag easily and mat down more quickly.

Most Berber styles are made with loops. Some Berbers are called “cut and loop” having both loops and cut loops, Some Berbers have patterns and some do not, and still other Berber styles have no loops at all.

Carpet Fibers…

Berber style carpets are often made from Nylon or Olefin, and of the two, Nylon would be the better a more durable choice. Nylon Berbers costs more but lasts much longer, and cleans much easier than Berbers made from Olefin.

Berber Carpet Complaints

Why do Olefin Berber carpets attract dirt and are so hard to keep clean? 

While Berber styles are elegant and beautiful when new, there is a common complaint from homeowners with Berber carpets made with the Olefin fiber. Consumers often report that within a week or two after a professional cleaning, previous spots and stains tend to reappear as if they were never cleaned at all. This is because the Olefin fiber is inherently oily and often makes Olefin hard to clean and prone to attracting dirt like a magnet. Old stains tend to reappear again and again regardless of how many times you have the spots cleaned. 

Why do Olefin fibers attract dirt?

Here’s why… During the manufacturing process the Olefin fiber is naturally oily. Fiber makers use a special process to clean the Olefin fibers to try to remove these oils, but often cut corners in order to reduce costs. Some manufacturers put their Olefin fibers through a “three-phase” cleaning process to try to remove most of the oils. 

Berber Stain

To make a better product, the fiber maker will use a “five-phase” cleaning process which removes much more of these oils from the fiber. This makes a significantly less-oily fiber that cleans much easier and doesn’t attract dirt nearly as much. 

Using the five-phase process to removing excess oils from Olefin is a more time consuming and costly procedure, manufacturers must charge more for these premium fibers and therefore you will pay more for a carpet made from these premium olefin fibers. Unfortunately consumers have no way of knowing which Olefin fibers have been cleaned with the “five-phase” process and those that have only had the three-phase cleaning. 

Rule of thumb: I think it would be reasonable to assume that most Berbers priced under $13.50 per yard ($1.50 sf) would be made using the “three-phase” process. You might have to spend $18 per yard or more to get the better grade of olefin fiber. 

Most carpet salespeople have no knowledge about this manufacturing process and asking them questions about it might be futile. However, perhaps you could ask them to call the carpet manufacturer and see if they can tell you which cleaning process was used in the Berber carpet you are considering. Good luck with that. 

Fact: It’s the fiber type and the size of the loops that matters most.

Inexpensive Berbers snag easily. Often priced at less than $10 per yard, don’t fall for those cheap Berber prices and assume that this low-quality carpet will last more than a few years for you. If you have active kids or pets you need to buy something more durable. 

Large Loops vs Small Loops

Berber styles that have Large loops tend to collapse and fall over more quickly. That makes the carpet appear worn out and ugly, often within a year or two in main traffic areas. 

Smaller looped Berbers tend to resist matting and crushing better and retain its like-new appearance longer. Berbers made of Nylon are more durable and resist matting and crushing of the pile longer than any other synthetic fiber. 

If a Berber carpet is priced under $15 per yard, then it is likely made of Olefin and designed to last a few years at best. You’ll be plagued with lots of snags, pulls, runs and stains that are hard to remove. This is why Berber is a bad choice for folks with active kids or pets. 

A good quality Nylon Berber would clean easier, wear better, and retain its new appearance much longer than would an Olefin Berber. If made with smaller loops, that would make it even more durable.

If you decide buy a Berber carpet and want it to last, be sure to select one with smaller loops, as the bigger loops tend fall over quickly and look worn out sooner. As far as pad goes, an 8-pound minimum density, and a 1/4″ to 3/8″ thickness is required for virtually all Berber styles.

Another option you might want to consider would be selecting a Berber without loops, this is called a “cut-Berber” or a “California Berber” style.

Cut Berber 2

 

Some Berbers are made from wool, which is an excellent natural fiber, but are very costly..

 

What Grade of Carpet

Should You Select?

Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to find out!

The BEST and WORST Places to Buy New Carpet?

Where are the best and worst places to buy new carpet?

Stainmaster Carpet Display
Where You Buy Carpet is just as important as Who you buy from. You should expect great customer service before, during and after the sale!

“You need to buy from an honest and reputable carpet dealer! With over 30-years of hands-on experience in the Carpet business, I’ve learned that some Carpet stores are way more reputable than others, and some carpet sellers should be avoided at all costs!”

“Here’s how I rate various Carpet Retailers on a Scale of One to Five.”


#8 Nationally Advertised or BIG-BOX Carpet Retailers

1.5 Stars out of 5

These corporately-owned businesses blanket the airwaves with constant and repetitive TV commercials, radio ads, billboards and bus stops! They have locations all over the country. They offer unbelievable deals on new carpet and flooring, including low-cost or free carpet installation.

I don’t recommend buying carpet from Home improvement warehouses like Lowe’s and Home Depot because they only sell the materials to you. They make arrangements with various independent contractors to handle the in-home measuring and installation. They take their profit right off the top and never have to worry about dealing with any problems or complaints you may have after the sale.

 

“Should you have a carpet defect or installation issue, they may just tell you to contact the carpet manufacturer directly or call the installation company to seek a remedy.”

From my experience, if you have a carpet problem or an installation complaint, it can be difficult if not impossible to find anyone to accept responsibility. Learn more: Should I Buy Carpet from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire Today or Costco?

#7 Local Carpet Warehouse or Carpet Outlet Stores

2.5 Stars out of 5

Local Carpet Retailer
Many local carpet stores have rolls of carpet in-stock and ready for immediate installation.

If you want to do-it-all-yourself and save a lot of money… create a detailed diagram of your home with all the room measurements and bring your truck, some rope and maybe a tarp if it is raining! These local dealers offer low prices and have dozens of rolls of carpet “in-stock”. They cater mostly to homeowners on a tight budget, landlords and property managers and D.I.Y. homeowners. They have plenty of inexpensive, lower-quality, defective or second-grade materials. Have them roll out the carpet before you agree to buy it to make sure there are no obvious defects. Check their guarantee carefully and get everything in writing before you sign on the dotted line. Once you buy it, you own it. no refunds.

The main problem when buying carpet from this type of retailer, is that they rarely have the same type, style or color of carpet available. That means if you need to buy more of the exact same carpet you bought today, it may not be available for you to buy tomorrow. Once a roll of carpet is sold, the same type, style and dye lot (color) may be gone forever. No two rolls of carpet are exactly the same. There will be differences in color or style that may be quite obvious once it is installed.

 

These dealers may offer in-house installation or they might just hand you a list of local installers for you to call and hire on your own. If you have to arrange for your own installation you must negotiate with the installer and pay them directly. In the end, if you pay just $8.99 per yard for the carpet, don’t expect it to last for 10 years. Even though you may get a great deal on discounted carpets, always remember that there was some reason why it was not able to be sold as first-quality goods. See which carpet stores I recommend near you

#6 Buying Carpet from a Carpet Layer

2.5 stars out of 5

Leftover Carpet remnantss
Most carpet installers have piles of leftover carpet in their garage.

Some carpet layers have longstanding relationships with local carpet dealers, or may have a way to order new carpet and padding at near wholesale prices from local suppliers. Carpet layers often end up with sizable leftovers from bigger carpet jobs because carpet so many salespeople over-measure their jobs.

When there is a lot of carpet leftover the installer may take it home and try to sell it on Craigslist or in your local newspaper. If you find an installer who has some leftover carpet or other flooring materials available at a very low price, you need to understand that they have a limited supply of those materials and have no way of getting any more of the exact same color or style. There is no manufacturer’s warranty on these materials whatsoever and no recourse if you end up unhappy with the performance.

 

Still, you can find some real bargains this way. As with any contractor you hire to do work on your property, I suggest you check references, verify their contractors license and business liability insurance to make sure they are all current and up-to-date. This might be an inexpensive way to go if you are just doing one or two rooms or if you need to replace carpet or flooring for a rental property.

 

#5 Franchised Carpet Resellers

2.5 Stars out of 5

These carpet dealers are often locally-owned but are hooked up with a national carpet distributor or co-op to increase their buying power and decrease their shipping costs. They usually use private labels to prevent you from comparison shopping at other carpet local stores. It is often much more difficult to get carpet specifications from these resellers, and it makes it much more difficult to comparison shop their products. Even so, you can still negotiate a fair deal if you know what you are doing and don’t rely on their salespeople to make choices for you.

Many co-ops do not provide installation so you may have to locate a good installation crew and pay them separately. You will have to work a bit harder to schedule and orchestrate everything, and may end up paying a little more buying from a franchised flooring dealer. but they usually have a list of local installers for you to call and they do offer a wide range of quality carpet and flooring products. Which carpet stores do you recommend near me?

#4  800-Carpet Wholesalers

2.5 Stars out of 5

These are carpet and flooring peddlers who will send you small carpet samples through the mail. They want you to buy their carpet virtually “sight unseen” (other than a small swatch) There are no refunds on discounted carpets so you really have to be fully aware of all the fine print. You can save money if you buy from a reputable carpet wholesaler as long as you know exactly what you are buying and fully understand how the entire carpet buying process works and what is expected of you, especially regarding the delivery of the carpet and what you are required to do if you need to return a roll of carpet.

Some 1-800 carpet outlets stores are reputable and some are not. The burden of being knowledgeable about your purchase falls solely upon you. Can I really buy new carpet at wholesale prices? Learn More

#3 Online Flooring Retailers

3 stars out of 5

Need Hardwoods, Ceramic Tile, Luxury Tile or Laminate Flooring? These online companies move a lot of product and can be a smart way to go if you are careful and do your homework. The biggest problem I hear about is the poor quality of the materials they offer. For example: If you buy hardwood flooring that is considered “Seconds” (cabin-grade?) it can be very difficult to install and the amount of warped, unusable or damaged product you receive can be significant and have as much as 25% waste or more.

Buying first-quality hardwoods is much more costly but the outcome is much better than if you buy a “cabin grade” product. It’s hard to know how much material to order when you have no Idea about the amount of unusable product they will be sending you. It can be a real nightmare when you have to re-order more materials because you did not have enough to finish the job due to the amount of unforeseen waste.

 

You can save money buying from an online flooring wholesaler as long as you know exactly what quality or grade of carpet you are buying and know in advance exactly how the entire buying process works from start to finish. Even so, you are taking your chances because you must trust what the salesperson tell you, of fails to tell you. Shipping costs can be high too and if you are not happy with the product you order you may have to pay dearly to ship it back and also pay a hefty re-stocking fee.

Some online flooring retailers are reputable and some are not, and knowing who to trust is the hard part. Even if you succeed in buying a good quality flooring at a discount, you still have to arrange for your own installation or install it yourself if you are so inclined. I highly suggest you read all their fine print and ask to see their return policy and restocking fees.

#2 Shop-at-Home Carpet Retailers

4.5 Stars out of 5

SHOP AT HOME FOR CARPET
It’s great to be able to shop-at-home for new carpet. It’s fun, easy and it saves time too.

Many people love the convenience of not having to travel from store to store in search of the perfect type, color and style of carpet or flooring and prefer having samples brought to their home. It makes matching colors easier in your own home under the optimum lighting scenario.

Many locally-owned carpet dealers are now offering shop-at-home services and this can a smart way to go for those who don’t want to drive all around town and deal with conflicting and confusing salespeople.

 

There are a few nationally advertised shop-at-home flooring dealers that I do not recommend, like Empire Today, because they tend to push carpets made of polyester, have unreasonably high prices and use independent high-pressure salespeople. However, I believe that “in-home carpet shopping” is a wonderful service, especially  for folks who have a hard time getting around.

There are many reputable shop-at-home carpet stores that offer quality products, have knowledgeable salespeople and reasonable prices. The shop-at-home for carpet concept is getting bigger and bigger!

Currently, I have many reputable shop-at-home carpet dealers listed in my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory that I am happy to recommend, including The Carpet Guys who serve the metro Detroit Michigan area.

Best places to buy new carpet and flooring? See who I recommend near you

#1 Locally-Owned “Family Run” Carpet Stores

5 stars – My Favorite!

With a few remnants stood up along the back wall, some in-stock rolls of carpet on display, a neat and tidy showroom and a good selection of brand name carpet samples to choose from. These long-standing neighborhood carpet and flooring retailers buy first-quality goods directly from the carpet manufacturer, provide excellent customer service, have fair & square pricing, have knowledgeable and helpful staff and provide qualified installers. Should you ever have a problem or complaint they will do whatever it takes to ensure you are completely satisfied with your purchase.

Creative Carpets Orlando FL
Creative Floors in Orlando Florida is a locally-owned, family operated carpet store.

Not all locally owned flooring dealers are honest and reputable. Over the past few years I have compiled my own “hand-picked” list of reputable locally-owned Carpet Dealers that I am proud to recommend to my readers. The dealers I recommend have passed my own set of strict rules and requirements before I list them in my directory. Where to buy new carpet and flooring? Which carpet stores are recommended near me?

Read full article here: https://goo.gl/Xp3cim

©2021 Alan Fletcher –  All Rights Reserved. All content is the opinion of the author.

Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice? Carpet Professor

Learn the good and the bad about Berber Carpet styles.

Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice?

How to select the right carpet style and grade for your home and avoid common consumer carpet buying mistakes. Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice?

Berber Style Carpet with Large Loops

Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice?
Is Berber Carpet with Loops a Good Choice?

 

Q. How well does Berber withstand high traffic areas? Is it easy to keep clean and what kind of padding is best? I am going crazy trying to decide if I want a plush or Berber. I have a newborn and know I will soon have lots of messes to clean up!

Alan’s Response:

My advice? Don’t spend a lot on new carpet if you have small children!

Children are very hard on carpets, they spill everything imaginable. Parents are often too busy or too tired to clean up messes quickly enough to keep up with the demand.

Looped Berbers made from the Olefin Fiber are hard to keep clean and they snag easily. Looped Berber styles are not recommended for families with active children or pets.

For folks without active children or pets: Berber may be a good choice.

Fact: Inexpensive looped Berber carpets tend to snag easily and mat down more quickly.

Berber Carpet Snags
Berber Carpet Snags and Pulls are common.

Most Berber styles are made with loops. Some Berbers are called “cut and loop” having both loops and cut loops.

Some Berbers have patterns and some do not, and still other Berber styles have no loops at all.

Berber Carpet Fibers…

Berber style carpets are often made from Nylon or Olefin, and of the two, Nylon would be the better and more durable choice.

Nylon Berbers cost more but can last years longer, and nylon Berber styles clean much easier than Berbers made from Olefin.

Berber Carpet Complaints

Why do Olefin Berber carpets attract dirt and are so hard to keep clean? 

All Berber styles are elegant and beautiful when new. However, there is a common complaint from homeowners with Berber carpets made from the Olefin fiber.

Consumers often report that within a week or two after a professional cleaning. Previous spots and stains tend to reappear as if they were never cleaned at all.

Is Berber a good choice? Berber Stains
Is Berber a good choice? Berber Stains

This is because the Olefin fiber is inherently oily and often makes Olefin hard to clean and prone to attracting dirt like a magnet.

Old stains tend to reappear again and again regardless of how many times you have the spots cleaned.

Why do Olefin fibers attract dirt?

Here’s why… During the manufacturing process the Olefin fiber is naturally oily.

Fiber makers use a special process to clean the Olefin fibers to try to remove these oils, but often cut corners in order to reduce costs.

Some manufacturers put their Olefin fibers through a “three-phase” cleaning process to try to remove most of the oils. 

To make a better product, the fiber maker will use a “five-phase” cleaning process which removes much more of these oils from the fiber.

This makes a significantly less-oily fiber that cleans much easier and doesn’t attract dirt nearly as much.

Using the five-phase process to removing excess oils from Olefin is a more time consuming and costly procedure, so manufacturers charge more for these premium fibers.

Unfortunately consumers have no way of knowing which Olefin fibers have been cleaned with the “five-phase” process and those that have only had the three-phase cleaning.

Rule of thumb: I think it would be reasonable to assume that most Berbers priced under $15.00 per yard would be made using the “three-phase” process.

You might have to spend $20 per yard or more to get the better grade of olefin fiber.

Most carpet salespeople have no knowledge about this manufacturing process and asking them questions about it might be futile.

Fact: It’s the fiber type and the size of the loops that matters most.

Inexpensive Olefin Berbers snag easily and are priced at less than $15 per yard.  Don’t assume that this low-quality carpet will last more than a few years for you.

If you have active kids or pets, I think you should buy something more durable.

Large Loops vs Small Loops

Berber styles that have Large loops tend to collapse and fall over more quickly.

This makes the carpet appear worn out and ugly, often within a year or two.  This is common in main traffic lanes, on stairs and down hallways.

Smaller looped Berbers tend to resist matting and crushing better and retain its like-new appearance longer.

Berbers made of Nylon are much more durable and will resist matting and crushing of the pile longer than any other synthetic fiber.

If a Berber carpet is priced under $15 per yard, then it is likely made of Olefin and designed to last a few years at best.

You’ll be plagued with lots of snags, pulls, runs and stains that are hard to remove. This is why Berber is a bad choice for folks with active kids or pets.

A good quality Nylon Berber would clean easier, wear better, and retain its new appearance much longer than would an Olefin Berber.

If made with smaller loops, would it be more durable?

Yes! If you decide buy a Berber carpet and want it to last, be sure to select one with smaller loops, as the bigger loops tend fall over quickly and look worn out sooner.

Berber Carpet Padding

As far as pad goes, an 8-pound minimum density, and a 1/4″ to 3/8″ thickness is required for virtually all Berber styles.

Another option you might want to consider would be selecting a Berber made without loops, these are called a “cut-Berber” or a “California Berber” style.

Here is a Cut Berber or California Berber Style.

Some Berbers are made from wool, which is a natural fiber and very durable, but are very costly, usually over $80 per square yard.

What grade of carpet should you choose for your home? Take my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to find out!

Insider Secrets to Choosing New Carpet

Carpet Display Rack
Carpet Sample Display Rack

I’m Alan Fletcher, aka The Carpet Professor, a 30+ year carpet expert…

But I don’t sell or install carpet anymore.

If you are in the market for new carpet or flooring soon, I have some free information for you that will surely help you make wise and informed choices.

As you will soon discover when you begin shopping for new carpet for your home, office or rental, choosing the right carpet can be quite difficult, confusing and complicated, not to mention costly!

Should you choose the wrong type, style or grade of carpet you stand to lose a lot of money and/or end up with a carpet that does not perform nearly as well as you might have hoped.

In some cases, new carpet can mat down quickly and start to look worn out in a short period of time, often in just a year or two. This is what happens when the wrong grade of carpet is selected.

It’s all about choosing the right grade of carpet for you!

Some carpets are designed for low foot-traffic applications. They cost less because they are made of lower quality materials. It would be a bad choice for a household with active kids and pets.

As a retired carpet expert, trust me when I say that homeowners need to take time to learn about selecting the right grade of carpet. A carpet that is designed to meet their needs and goals. Do you know enough about Carpet Specifications?

What are your needs and goals? Answer these questions; How long do you want your new carpet to last? 5, 10 15 years? What is your level of foot-traffic? Low, medium or heavy? Take my free carpet foot-traffic test.

I created CarpetProfessor.com to help educate homeowners how to choose new carpet wisely; how to avoid common retail carpet scams; and how to properly maintain your new carpet.

Insider Secrets to Choosing New Carpet Wisely? This a free service I provide with no strings attached. You also have free access to all my free carpet shopping forms, coupons and checklists.

Where to buy new carpet? Check out my own special handpicked list of locally-owned and reputable Preferred Carpet Dealers near you.

Alan Fletcher aka The Carpet Professor

More Information:

How Much Does New Carpet Cost?

 

AbcCarpetPro.com Carpet ProfessorIt’s hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I created my own special hand-picked list of locally owned carpet stores. They give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. Smart homeowners want to know…Are there any reputable Carpet Stores Near Me?